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‘Die Hard…’ Tops $22 Million

One week after “Crimson Tide” reaped the best box-office returns of the year, “Die Hard with a Vengeance” came along and did even better.

The third installment in the Bruce Willisstarring “Die Hard” series earned $22.2 million, some $3.6 million more than the nuclear submarine thriller did in taking No. 1 last week.

“Crimson Tide,” which stars Denzel Washington and Gene Hackman, sank to No. 2 with a $11.5 million take.

“Forget Paris” led a trio of romantic comedies with a No. 3 finish. In its debut, the new Billy Crystal film earned $5.8 million. Just behind were “While You Were Sleeping” ($4.5 million) and “French Kiss” ($3.8 million).

Of the three, “While You Were Sleeping” figures to be the most enduring. Sandra Bullock’s starring debut has already earned $50.2 million in its five weeks of release.

The only more successful film in the week’s top 20 was “Bad Boys,” the Will Smith-Martin Lawrence action-comedy whose $1.3 million take earned it the No. 9 spot and upped its seven-week total to $59.3 million.

At the other end of the spectrum, No. 16 “The Perez Family,” which stars Oscar winners Marisa Tomei and Anjelica Huston, earned just $572,000 to bring its two-week total gross to a whopping $2.2 million.